A slow journey to France

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May 2018

Why Slow?

Why a Slow journey?

Our first exposure to the concept of ‘Slow’ was our first holiday together as a couple to Umbria in Italy. This was a centre for the Slow Food movement which aims to reinvigorate people’s interest in the food they eat and the understanding that food is a window to the culture and accrued knowledge.

Slow wins the race!

It promotes the true enjoyment of good food and food production that is clean and fair to those who produce it. It is an approach that promotes a greater understanding of what goes into the food and an appreciation of what we get out of it.

In short, it is about taking the time to understand, appreciate and respect the food you eat and its true worth. We really connected with this ethos and its principle as food has always been important from day one with our initial ‘nose-to-tail’ date at St John’s in Spitalfields to the beef and apple crumble menu and stories behind the wines at our wedding.

However, our new journey is trying to explore how this could apply more widely in a world where everything moves at such a pace, and we often value more material things at the expense of the fundamentals of life and well-being.

It is about being able to live in the moment and appreciate what is happening here and now in an ever increasing consumer led and online world.  How can we create the opportunity to really notice and appreciate the world we live in and the people with whom we live. Taking the slow approach to life understanding if we can find more mindful approach. We want to create somewhere that people can relax and enjoy engaging with these fundamental; food, nature, local culture and each other.

We want to make the most of the local environment for everything we offer including local producers of food wine, art, furniture, art and other all things local. We want to create something that gives people time to connect; to nature, to their food, to the local environment, to themselves, and to each other.

Time is so valuable but we often waste so much, how do we live more ‘slowly’.

Our journey

Life is like a rollercoaster…

A slow journey to France?

Now, it feels more like a rollercoaster ride to Toulouse. We have signed the contract for the apartment we are renting for a year, we have put our house on the market and have received the breath taking quote for a removal firm to take all of our worldly goods to a storage facility in the depths of rural France. Our next task it to enrol our daughter in the French state school system; not something we found straightforward in the UK but even more perplexing in French. Fortunately, with the aid of a large dictionary we were able to send our completed application form together with at least some of the documents required to the Mairie in Toulouse. The response has been better than we expected. A steady stream of additional e-mails with attached documents have been sent as the helpful lady in the Mairie set out each time what we had not understood. The Haute-Garonne department offers non French speaking children additional language support in a number of their state schools; our daughter has to attend an assessment at the ‘Espace d’Accueil de la Haute Garonee’ with a teacher, not as formal as it sounds, and following this a recommendation will be sent to the Mairie on the most appropriate school for her to attend. Following a conversation in halting French with a very patient lady we have an appointment to take our daughter for her assessment. We haven’t jumped over the first hurdle but we are definitely on the run up.